Are you asking yourself if I have gone mad? Two desserts in one week! What happened to “moderation?” People, I write it like I see it and chocolate-covered frozen bananas are what the past few weeks have been about around here. Have you ever been in a “food phase?” I mean when you eat something that makes you think about eating it all the time and then you do? Some food phases, like when I ate raw kale salad several times a week for months, are better than others, like in the ’90s when I went through a nonfat frozen yogurt phase that lasted several years. Blech. My husband is in a chocolate-covered frozen banana phase and I see no signs of it letting up. It all started in May of this year at the bar mitzvah of my friend Kim’s son where they passed around mini-frozen chocolate banana bites at the end of the evening. My husband and I looked at each other after a few as if to say “where have we been?” Before I knew it, the mister was taking detours through town just to pass the Manhattan Creamery where he would buy a frozen banana or two. He was even offering the kids frozen banana rewards for the most ridiculous things. Obsessed.
All joking aside, I actually think these bananas have the potential to be an okay dessert, especially if you can use good quality, organic dark chocolate, which I keep telling myself has lots of antioxidants! So I thought to myself, how hard could dipping bananas be? Well, I wouldn’t be writing a whole post about it if it were just a matter of dipping a banana in chocolate. Let me save you some time and some chocolate with my frozen banana tips and tricks:
- use ripe, speckled bananas for maximum sweetness.
- don’t use overripe, black bananas which will ooze after they’ve been covered in chocolate; save those for banana bread.
- insert the stick in the banana before freezing it (obvious to you, maybe).
- insert the stick in the banana before peeling it, to prevent the banana from splitting.
- freeze the banana before coating in chocolate so that the chocolate hardens right away.
- do add a little oil or butter to the melted chocolate to thin it out a bit, otherwise it makes too thick a coating on the banana.
- I prefer to spoon the chocolate over the banana as opposed to dipping. The melted chocolate stays much more smooth and won’t seize up on you.
- if you’re using toppings, work quickly. If the chocolate is allowed to harden, the toppings won’t stick.
I think these are a really fun treat. I feel better about hubby and the kids eating these than a lot of other things, plus they are super easy to make. If you are going to take the time to try this out, you might as well make a whole bunch, so to speak, since they stay frozen for a good amount of time. I decided to use toppings on most of them and I kept it real with toasted coconut, chopped nuts and crushed granola. I’m sure you have probably seen similar bananas rolled in sprinkles or candy, but you didn’t come here for that, now did you?
- 5 large ripe, well-speckled bananas (or up to 7 small bananas)
- 10 popsicle sticks or candy apple sticks (I used both here.)
- 2 cups good quality chocolate pieces (I used Dagoba 72% chocodrops -- dark chocolate contains antioxidants and less sugar than semisweet or milk chocolate )
- 2 Tablespoons unrefined coconut oil or unsalted butter
- Topping ideas: toasted coconut, finely chopped nuts, crushed granola
- Cut the UNPEELED bananas in half and insert a popsicle stick into the cut side of each banana. Peel the bananas and arrange in one layer on a parchment or wax paper-lined baking sheet. Put the baking sheet in the freezer and freeze bananas until firm, at least 30 minutes, but ideally a few hours.
- In a double boiler, or in a heat-proof bowl set atop a pot of simmering water, melt the chocolate and coconut oil, stirring frequently until smooth.
- If using toppings, arrange in shallow containers before starting.
- Remove bananas from freezer and one at a time, hold a banana over the melted chocolate and spoon chocolate over the banana until completely coated. Allow excess to drip back into bowl. Before chocolate completely hardens, roll in topping of choice and return to baking sheet.
- Repeat with all the bananas and return baking sheet to the freezer until chocolate is completely hardened, just a few more minutes. Serve immediately or store in a container in the freezer up to two weeks.